|Index||9 reviews in total|
Witness now the dawning of our tomorrow. Shining brighter than the
of light is the brilliance of the Shizuma Drive. Our only reliable future
energy, which includes dependability in every home and the Earth's only
answer to the waste of atomic and oil energy.
But beware, for our shining future has also cast a dark shadow of revenge - BIG FIRE, an underworld organization, who's only goal is absolute world domination!
Do not panic, for we are protected by the international police organization formed by the Experts of Justice, keeping our world safe from the evils of Big Fire. Amongst their ranks is the bravery of one boy who commands the mightiest robot of all - a young boy called Daisaku Kusama. ..
The set up and intro may sound cheesy, but it's far from it. I am shocked - nay, stunned that it took me this long to get around to watching this series. Everyone should immediately drop whatever they are doing at this moment and watch Giant Robo. It's that cool.
The more observant of the crowd might notice that GR looks a LOT like a series called Johnny Socko and his Flying Robot. Or one might dismiss it out of hand as just another "Giant Mecha fighting" series. Giant Robo is neither. It is very loosely based on that Johhny Socko - but very, very loosely, and it is SO much more than just Big Robots beating the hell out of each other.
The plot revolves around the last sample of the prototype Shizuma drive, Big Fire's efforts to obtain the sample, and the Experts of Justice's attempts to keep it out of their hands. Along the way, villains turn out to be not quite what they appear to be, good guys die, the golden egg that is the Shizuma drive isnt quite the blessing that everyone expected - basically the plot undergoes so many twists and turns, that the view ends up is nowhere near where they started. It's like Babylon 5, but animated - and better.
The animation is a cool retro look, like the animated Batman series. The music is a grand symphonic score, worthy of John Williams, the story - I cant get enough of it. It's a bit confusing when characters get introduced in waves - you cant tell 'em apart sometimes without a score card. But stick it out - this series is WELL worth the trouble.
It's a nearly all ages film - no sex or nudity, plenty of violence - but it's all cartoon-ish, and way over the top (like a Jackie Chan movie). Some swearing, but not excessively so.
Giant Robo should have really sucked. It had a retro-futuristic style (think Astro-Boy), it has some really cliched characters and the story doesn't start out in any exceptional way. Except... as the story progresses, these things start to change. Characters lose their one dimensionality and start to have human motivations. Plot twists drive shake everything the narrative has led you to believe. There are times when it appears the story just can't get any bigger, but it does!
What makes this series great is giant cast of characters (each with unique abilities, some of which are very original), the twisting of convential anime plot lines and that it doesn't rely purely on shock value or huge explosions to keep you interested. Having seen a lot of the MD Geist-style anime (read: very very bad anime in regards to plot or characterisation), it is great to see a series that doesn't insult my intelligence.
There are some negatives to this series - the whiny boy who controls Giant Robo, the voice acting for some of the characters (I saw a dubbed version), there are some really cheesy moments and some anime conventions are still followed religiously (eg the girl (Ginrei sp?) is mostly useless... except when she isn't). A big let-down is the additional episode on the final tape - because there are 7 one-hour episodes, a filler episode called "Barefoot Ginrei" was after the final episode. It doesn't really add anything to the story, and the fact that Ginrei's feet aren't the only things that are bare may have been the reason it was included.
Despite this, Giant Robo deserves any accolades it gets. Go out and see it.
I fell in love with this series from the very first opening frames. After
having seen countless animes with interchangeable characters, plots and
visual styles, Giant Robo was an unexpected masterpiece. At first glance
looks retro, but nothing can be further from the truth. If anything,
Robo is ahead of its time (or perhaps one of the only ones on time).
stylized (to say the least), Giant Robo eeks every scrap of possibility
of its animated format. There is no attempt to recreate reality here.
Characters have incredibly long, thin legs (and--in one case--nose), run
faster than cars and have super powers way cooler than anything else I've
ever seen. The soundtrack is outstanding in an original sort of way
(opera!) and the pacing keeps viewers on the edge of their
My biggest gripe with the anime is with the characters. While I found many of them to be interesting and likable a few of the main characters were a bit too typical for my tastes The protagonist boy, female lead and the master villain all seemed to be characters I had seen before. However, nearly all of the secondary characters make up for this single flaw.
What Giant Robo does have is great style and enough audacity to try something new. In each of the seven episodes there are numerous breaks from anime convention that set this anime apart from most others. Unfortunately, to go into details would spoil just about everything. Plot twists abound and Giant Robo does feature one of the most powerful endings I have ever seen.
I could go on and on about this anime, but that would be pointless. If I haven't convinced you by now to see it, I'm not going to. And if you've already seen it, you'd just agree with me.
Personally, it ranks as my second favorite anime (following the flawless Mononoke Hime).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(www.plasticpals.com) Back when the original animation series Giant
Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still was new on VHS, I rented each
episode in succession and was enjoying them up until episode 6 ended on
one hell of a cliffhanger. Unfortunately for me and many other fans,
the 7th and final episode in the series wasn't out and wouldn't be
out for almost three years! In the meantime I lost track of things
amidst the likes of Neon Genesis Evangelion and school.
I've just spent the last week watching the whole series, more than a decade after its completion, and I'm pleased to say Yasuhiro Imagawa's mid-'90s re-imagining of Mitsuteru Yokoyama's '60s manga series hasn't aged a day. The animation quality is top notch, and the accompanying orchestral score is still one of the best to grace an anime, with even each credit roll getting its own unique composition.
The story is set in the near future with the third energy revolution only 10 years old. Petroleum and nuclear power have been replaced by the seemingly perfect Shizuma Drive; a non-polluting energy canister-type device that now powers virtually everything on the planet. Mixed with the high tech are turn of the century design motifs like air ships, and characters which seem to have time-travelled from a fantasy medieval China, inspired by Yokoyama's Romance of the Three Kingdoms manga. This concoction is a bit bizarre but works, and though the late episodes throw new characters into the mix at an insane pace, the early episodes manage to sketch in the key players well enough that you'll care about them.
The only catch with the Shizuma Drive is the Tragedy of Bashtarle: a catastrophic explosion that wiped out nearly a third of the world's population during a botched experiment with the drive's prototype. The accident was blamed on Professor Vogler, one of the scientists who worked with Dr. Shizuma on the drive. The series starts as the late Professor's spirit reappears to take vengeance on the world, backed by the terrorist organization bent on world domination; Big Fire. The only thing standing in their way is Interpol's Experts of Justice; super-human special agents that take on Big Fire's Magnificent Ten in wild kung-fu-inspired fight scenes. Among the Experts of Justice is Daisaku Kusama, heir to his father's masterpiece, Giant Robo.
Despite its title and genre, there are surprisingly few fights involving Giant Robo, let alone giant robots. The main characters do most of the fighting in hand-to-hand combat that would make the X-Men blush. There's enough Giant Robo to satisfy fans, but the story doesn't really revolve around him, or the ones that appear in brief cameos in the introduction. Giant Robo is an excellent example of direct-to-video productions, and despite the somewhat rushed and dissatisfying ending, the road there is worth taking. Some characters and seemingly important elements get tossed aside in the finale without a second thought, such as Big Fire's robot Poseidon. This is probably due to director Yasuhiro Imagawa's plan for a saga comprised of many such episodes, with this particular series taking place near the end. It's a damn shame the eluded-to series that would have preceded and continued the adventures of Daisaku and his giant robot never materialized.
It may have escaped other reviewers but ALL the characters of this show
are take from other series.
Giant Robo OF COURSE is JAIANTO ROBO, but also BIG FIRE himself is BABIL JUNIOR (residing in the ruins of the Babel Tower with his three guardians...the panther, Rokuros and Poseidon) and even Lord Alberto's psychic daughter...she's Sally the Witch from 'Maho Tsukai Sally' (a 'bewitched'-influenced jap cartoon show of the late 60s). Several of the Magnificen 10 were villains in a early animated show about an antediluvian teen awakening in the present and reactivating a giant mecha from the seabed (I just can't place the name of that series but I have seen it in my youth).
All the references and homages of course work just for the Japanese and for the few (lucky?) countries which were flooded by the barrage of ALL the early Japanese cartoon series (I live in Italy and during the late 70s-early 80s we imported almost ALL of the anime which existed to that day...as a result the regular 30-ish male Italian has a passing knowledge of anime to rival that of a non-Japanese 'otaku'...limited to that peculiar period).
Well that's it, search the web and find all of the in-jokes and special appearances that literally FILL the animated series.
Last hint...director naka-joe's original character appeared of course in a boxing series but you have to take 25-30 years off his current appearance to find out 'where does he come from'.
Giant Robo has to be one of the best Anime series out there.
Giant Robo actually takes you to another time and place, where everything is different and every single person has there own idea of whats going on. It's an awesome commntary about the world that works even better now (2001) because of out energy crisis and our lack of leadership.
I've watched Giant Robo a million times and while I know who's suppose to be the good guys and bad guys, there's just so much involved that you loose sight of who's right and who's wrong, everybody's ideas make since, they all seem to be trying to save the world. Sure there are a few loose cannons that have no control, but our leads, who's right?
If you want to be a real nerd (which isn't a bad thing), watch this with friends and see the conversations it sparks.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
WARNING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS The Short Version-Giant Robo is one of the Greatest Anime Works ever.
The Long Version-Giant Robo is a 90's Anime with a 70's Heart. Everything apart from the Story is Retro in some way, the Shizuma Drize-the Ultimate Enegy Source could be from the old Pulp Sci-Fi Magazines of the 40's. The Characters themselves are the set in the Good/Evil Archtypes of Star Wars and Japanese Shows such as 'Gigantor' (who also created the original Giant Robo Comic back in the 70's, which is more Gigantor.) Archtypes such as Young Boy with Special Responsibilities, Father Figure, Genius Scientist, Big Tough Guy who has little respect for the Young Boy etc, we've seen them all before.
The Titlelar Robot-Giant Robo is a good example of Retro Designs, unlike the Giant Streamlined, sleek Piloted Robots of Go Nagi's oeuvre, with their Rocket Punches, and the gritty realism and more scientificly probable Robots from the 'Gundam' Series. GR looks like it was built in a factory with it's rivited together steel and muscular power, even better is that the Young Boy Daisaku controls Robo with his watch (again shades of Gigantor!)
But with all these elements making GIANT ROBO seem like a cut 'n' paste effort, let me tell you-IT ISN'T! The Animation is mind blowing and an obviously hard working creative team, (The Final Episode no 7 took several years to complete and it shows.) The Story improves with each episode and makes us care for the Charecters, we like/hate them, feel sad when the Heroes die (which happens several times)all this makes for a defining animation point of the 90's. A True Classic
LOOK JUST WATCH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Right in the beginning you can tell Giant Robo is different. Set in a retro-future where the heroes and villians fight it out in tailored suits, and the robots look like 50s atomic toys, this series is my all-time favorite Japanese animation - in the company of Akira, Evangelion, Mononuke and Ghost in the Shell - where each episode is better than the last, and for those of you who watch all 7, the end comes far too soon..
Giant Robo is like a casserole; some bits are incredibly tasty, and some
bits you have to push to the side of the plate. I love most of the
incidental characters, especially the bad guys. The scenes where members of
the Experts of Justice are facing off against, members of the Magnificent
Ten and Big Fire (even the names are cool) are well done. When Ivan the
Terrible shoots across a room and his scar glows red, all you can say is
"Wow!" Also, several of the non-fight scenes are very well directed, with a
lot of atmosphere. There are multiple instances in each episode where one
of the good or bad characters does something that just makes you exclaim
with joy at its coolness.
The problem with this film is that it dwells far too much on big stuff: Giant Robo, cities blowing up, big black orbs trashing out Shanghai, etc. Some of you will say "What do you expect from a movie called Giant Robo?" I have no answer to that. I guess this is what many people want to see. For me, long drawn out animated devastation loses its appeal after about five minutes, especially when they show the same bit of demolition multiple times (i.e. Bashtaralle getting blown up over and over again). Also, the little boy who controls Giant Robo just put me to sleep.
This would have been much better if they called it the Experts of Justice, and left out all the big stuff, including Giant Robo. But judging from the other comments, there is apparently an audience for animated cities getting trashed, so who am I to blame the filmmakers.
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